A film is a great human adventure. But it’s above all a cultural product that generally involves a lot of people, from the screenwriter to the press, including the producers and the technical team, and all that represents a HUGE PACKAGE OF THUNES. Between the artistic vision and the final achievement, there is sometimes a significant gap related to this financial risk; and sometimes the creator is too clever and manages to trick his world into doing exactly what he wants. In this case, he lies as he breathes and we do not blame him.
1. Coppola lied for weeks in production about Pacino in “The Godfather”
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Paramount absolutely did not want Al Pacino, then almost unknown, to play Michael Corleone. Especially since the choice of Marlon Brando, semi-on the return and known to be uncontrollable on the set, did not delight them. To impose his choice, Coppola therefore pretended for weeks that he was working with another actor while shaking up the filming plan to show the full extent of Pacino’s talent in long-term scenes and thus surprise the producers with the quality of the scenes shot during the first viewings. Winning bet.
2. While filming, “Return of the Jedi” was advertised as a horror movie titled “Blue Harvest”
Just to keep journalists and curious people away who would have immediately fanned the presence of the ewoks and thus screwed up the release of the film, no one ever going to see it.
3. To get the role in “Apocalypse Now”, Lawrence Fishburne lied about his age
Another Coppola story. To get the role of the soldier who accompanies Martin Sheen on his boat to madness, Lawrence Fishburne pretended to be 16 years old (the character was supposed to be 17). Yet he was only 14, which is really young to go to war, even in Vietnam. But that’s just part of the multitude of crazy stuff that happened on the set of Apocalypse Now.
4. Madonna wouldn’t have gotten the role of Eva Peron without lying
She did not impersonate Michelle Pfeiffer, who was expected, but lied about her pregnancy since she had to wear a lot of costumes without ever being pregnant. We do not know if the kid knows the story of his mother who preferred to deny his existence to have a role in a bad movie or not.
5. Robert Pattinson lied on his CV for the role of Cedric Diggory
Since he wasn’t known, Pattinson wasn’t specifically meant to land the role of Cedric in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But he played his shot well, presenting himself as a comedian from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and as a graduate of Oxford University. The trick impressed everyone so much that he rekdi got the part.
6. George Lazenby, who plays James Bond in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,’ said he couldn’t get the part
Lazenby started by dressing up as Sean Connery to succeed him: he went to his tailor, to his hairdresser and all the rest to present himself to the casting as a real James Bond. Then, he told the casting directors that he was VERY famous in Australia, which allowed him to meet the producer, Harry Saltzman, to whom he handed a phony CV.
In short, the craziest James Bond of the whole saga would not have been the same without this big lie and Lazenbu could have re-entered the role (if his agent had not stupidly advised him not to lock himself in a role : we never saw him again).
7. Barry Sonnenfeld told n’imp’ to have Will Smith in “Men in black”
Spielberg, the film’s producer, absolutely wanted Chris O’Donnell to play the role of Agent J, which eventually fell to Will Smith. Because Sonnenfeld ABSOLUTELY wanted Will Smith. So when Spielberg asked him to have dinner with O’Donnell, Sonnenfeld started the self-sabotage operation: he explained to the actor that the film was badly produced, badly written and that he, as a director, was not worth a nail. O’Donnell therefore let it be known that he was not particularly interested and Sonnenfeld was then able to engage with the canvassing of Will Smith, his first choice.
9. When Audiard and Cotillard invent fanciful shooting dates…
Marion Cotillard, engaged on Nolan’s latest Batman, had signed a non-competition clause prohibiting her from participating in any other filming during the production of the film. Except that in the meantime, Jacques Audiard approached her to Of rust and bone. Cotillard therefore took advantage of a month’s break from filming Batman in the US to engage with the French director and, once the film was produced, Audiard and Cotillard invented false filming dates so as not to screw up the actress cantilevered with Nolan. A messy puzzle but which ultimately did not pose a problem.
10. When Henri-Georges Clouzot drove La Continental crazy
Renowned screenwriter, Henri-George Clouzot decided to continue his profession during the German occupation. After going out The Assassin lives at 21, a hit at the box office, it was given carte blanche by the German production company La Continental, which hoped to produce French cinema favorable to the Allies. By totally smoking out the French referent of the production company, he therefore turned The crow, an anti-everything film: anti-collabo, anti-informant, anti-mediocrity, anti-hatred of the other. A deeply anti-Nazi film which immediately drew the wrath of Goebbels. He was banned and Clouzot laid off… Before being banned from filming again for collaborating with the Liberation. And to recover the right to make masterpieces once the collective hysteria has passed, thanks to a well-stocked support committee.
11. “Fargo”, based on a true story
The film would not have the same flavor if it did not open with the words “Based on a true story”, which is absolutely false since the film is in no way based on a true story.
12. Herzog’s forged documents
Werner Herzog wanted to shoot Aguirre in Peru, but he did not have the official authorizations at all to be able to install the trays in the reserves where he wanted. Never mind: rather than embarking on a major administrative operation of lubricating the paw, he made fakes. Forgeries made sufficiently well to deceive the local authorities and allow him to obtain total peace.
13. When the ‘Harold and Maude’ director felt his story wouldn’t appeal to producers…
Hal Ashby, who smelled the market, suspected that a love story between a 20-year-old guy and an 80-year-old woman would put off both producers and investors. He therefore presented them with a version of his film in a pure romantic comedy style without ever specifying the age of the characters: and it worked for him, as we know.